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Drug Smugglers Getting Creative

Smuggling drugs into Asian countries is a must for those drug cartels that hope to continue to drive their exorbitant profits. According to a report in Asia One, smuggling syndicates have been getting more creative as they smuggle drugs.

In one operation, smugglers hid 150kg of ketamine between boxes of vibhuthi, which is sacred ash used by Hindus during their worship, to move the drug unnoticed. Drugs have also been hidden in water heaters, television sets, cooking utensils and even soaking clothing with liquid drugs and wearing them across borders to avoid detection

According to customs deputy enforcement director Datuk Mohamed Khalid Yusuf, smugglers were getting desperate and were willing to resort to just about any method to bring in the drugs for profit.

"These syndicates have no regard for human welfare, religion or anything. For them, it's all about money. Most of the time, they copy tactics used by smugglers in other countries,” said Yusuf.

“For example, soaking clothes in drugs was used by the Mexicans in the 1970s to smuggle drugs into the United States. Though they were able to retrieve only about 60 per cent later, it was still profitable for them."

In 2009, the department seized $25.74 million worth of drugs, and increase of 254.5 percent from 2008. While this rate of seizure is a success, there is still concern over the jump in the number of cases from 31 in 2008 to 76 in 2009.

"In January alone we had two cases with RM7.7 million (S$3.176 million) worth of drugs seized. Multiply that by 12 months, and it could reach RM100 million (S$41.25 million) by the end of the year. Though we have a high success rate in seizing drugs, it is possible that a lot more may slip through."


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